‘Mobility’ has been finding its way into companies both large and small since the 90’s, but the proliferation of smartphones and tablets has accelerated the adaptation of mobility features and services and has become a necessity for a business that wishes to remain competitive and productive.
The definition of business mobility is constantly evolving as new technologies and trends are introduced. In the early 2000s, mobility meant having a mobile phone, and then it was about equipping staff with laptops (no matter how heavy and clunky). But no matter what era we are talking about, at its core, business mobility is about empowering employees to perform their tasks outside of what is deemed a their typical or traditional office environment.
The mobility movement has accelerated as employees began to purchase their own smartphones and tablets and encouraged (if not pleaded) with their companies to integrate some of their basic work functions such as, business emails, calendars and access to company contacts into their personal devices. We now know this as BYOD. We are also seeing people wanting to bring their own apps and bring their own services
Even businesses that were initially reluctant to embrace the mobility revolution are now encouraging employees to go mobile. They discovered that removing the constraints of being anchored to a desk in a traditional 9 to 5 environment resulted in an increase of employee productivity.
In addition to simply embracing and allowing employees to use their devices to manage emails and calendars, businesses began to actively seek out new ways to add additional capabilities and functions to the mobility portfolio. In addition to incorporating access to cloud storage services so employees could access and share important documents, they also began to incorporate mobile applications that enable employees to complete company functions such as manage stock, book travel and manage company expenses.
Outside of the benefits for the business that are brought about by enabling an agile and mobile workforce it also tends to result on a happier workforce. Of course, pay and perks are crucial in keeping employees happy and also in recruiting the best talent but today, a culture based on trust is what current and future employees care more about. If you are equipping your staff with the tools to take their office with them wherever they go, whether it be home, a client’s office or on the road – you will see a much happier and more engaged workforce.
This is especially crucial for SMBs that are fighting larger enterprises for the top talent in the market.
SMBs are in an advantageous position when it comes to mobility too. Whereas they may be competing against organisations that are much more well resourced, it’s this size and scale which can see some enterprises slower to adopt an efficient mobility strategy. SMBs are typically more nimble and more agile, they should be proactive when it comes to mobility. They should be thinking about how they can take advantage of your smaller workforce, and smaller IT environment to deploy mobility policy quicker
The era of convincing businesses of the benefits and applications of a mobile workforce is over. It’s no longer a question of if but when. And for Australian businesses, every day that they are not investing in mobility solutions is costing them – both from a productivity perspective and in the happiness of their employees.
About the author: Brian Bird is a Business Development Manager with over 17 years’ experience working with business partners and end customers in adapting to the evolution of telecommunications technology to assist them in enhancing employee efficiency, increasing their customers’ satisfaction and optimising their communications costs. His 23 years’ experience with Alcatel-Lucent includes technical qualifications, direct and channel sales management, strategic and tactical marketing as well as product and sales training capabilities.